El Camino Hospital goes live with Epic

'Moving into the next generation of electronic information systems'
By Mike Miliard
10:17 AM
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El Camino Hospital

Mountain View, Calif.-based El Camino Hospital, an electronic health records pioneer for nearly five decades, has completed its customized $150 million Epic implementation, known as iCare.

El Camino is a trailblazer in health IT. Its 1960s-era chief information officer is the namesake for the John E. Gall, Jr. CIO of the Year Award, given each year by HIMSS and CHIME.

"El Camino Hospital has always been a leader in electronic clinical communications with its launch of the nation's first computerized physician order system in 1971," said Debbi Muro, the iCare the project leader upon the start of the initiative in 2014. "With iCare we are moving into the next generation of electronic information systems."

"This integration will allow us to securely share patient information with other healthcare organizations," added El Camino CIO Greg Walton, in June 2014 press statement. "This will give us enormous opportunities to know our patients' medical history and better inform their care while they are under our care."

The target date set for go-live back then was November 2015.

The past week, Mountain View Voice reported that the new iCare system was online.

Patients are now more able to connect with the hospital for appointments lab results, and prescriptions, and El Camino can now more easily exchange secure information with nearby providers such as Stanford and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

iCare staff "looked happy and visibly exhausted" at a board meeting earlier this month, "explaining that going live was challenging but mostly successful," the paper reported. "Hiccups and problems include slower service for patients in the hospital, including delays in the emergency department, and a slower hospital discharge process."

Mountain View Voice quoted El Camino board member David Reeder: "We knew it wasn't going to be perfect, but I was very impressed with the enthusiasm of the team," he said, adding that the hospital would maintain a command center to troubleshoot technical issues and answer clinicians' questions in the coming months.

Read the Mountain View Voice story here.

See also:
El Camino slashes hospital readmissions
El Camino Hospital launches HIE in Silicon Valley